If you ask 10 different people what their favorite horror movie is, you’re likely to get 10 different responses. Taste in movies, or in any type of artistic expression, is subjective. For every person that thinks The Shining is a masterpiece, there’s another person who thinks it’s a horribly overrated film filled with overacting from its star Jack Nicholson. For the record, I think it’s a classic, but you get my point. But as I said, the merits of what makes a classic horror film can be debated all day long.
With that in mind, here are the five most overrated horror movies. In order to make the list, the movie cannot be a sequel and or remake. These five movies are considered, by some, to be some of the most memorable entries in the horror genre. But to me, they’re overrated movies that don’t live up to the hype.
5. Paranormal Activity (2007)
Six films and nearly $900 million worldwide, the Paranormal Activity series is one of the most successful horror franchises in history, and I can’t figure out why. The franchise’s first entry is riddled with bad acting, false scares, and is just plain boring. When done right, the "found footage" gimmick can be scary, but it doesn’t work here. I was originally looking forward to watching the movie when it was released, because I like to support independent horror movies, but was utterly disappointed after watching 90 minutes of absolutely NOTHING happen.
4. Suspiria (1977)
Let me begin by saying that Italian horror is my favorite horror genre and that I am a fan of Dario Argento, but I have always found his 1977 movie Suspiria to be criminally overrated. Ask fans of the film what they like most and they will almost invariably cite the unique aesthetic or the fantastic score by Goblin. Despite the strong visuals and a great soundtrack, Suspiria is a boring film that lacks any true scares. Overall, the film builds atmosphere, but there’s no payoff. In fact, it’s a pretty dull movie.
3. The Blair Witch Project (1999)
I cannot recall a more anticipated horror movie that failed to live up to the hype in my lifetime. I could even tell this movie was bad at 12 years old, which should tell you something. Yet another film on our list that was a massive financial success, The Blair Witch Project grossed over $250 million on a $60,000 budget making it one of the most successful independent movies ever. Regarded for novelty at the time of its release for using "found footage" approach, Blair Witch gets far too much credit for utilizing this plot device.
If you’re looking for a much better found footage-style horror movie, check out Ruggero Deodato’s Cannibal Holocaust. The 1980 Italian horror flick is not for the faint of heart, but it’s a markedly better film in terms of story, cinematography, and directing.
2. Friday the 13th (1980)
Sure, we all know the maniac behind the hockey mask Jason Vorhees of the Friday the 13th sequels, but some folks forget that it was his crazed mother who is the killer in the original film. I don’t understand why this movie gets the praise it does among slasher fans because its unsuspenseful, filled with numerous horror tropes, and not the least bit scary. On the plus side, the great Tom Savini does contribute some stellar special effects to the film. That being said, Savini also did the special effects for a far superior slasher movie that came out the same year called Maniac, which you should definitely check out if you haven’t already.
In my opinion, Halloween and Texas Chainsaw Massacre are far superior to Friday the 13th and much more influential in the horror/slasher genre. They also both feature scarier villains (compared to Jason’s mom or Jason himself in the sequels). And when we’re dealing with slasher flicks, scary bad guys make all the difference.
1. The Exorcist (1973)
Based on the bestselling novel of the same name, The Exorcist was a smash hit upon its release in 1973 and even won two Academy Awards. I’m not saying that The Exorcist is not a good film, but it’s overrated and not all that scary. In fact, it’s laughable. The head spin, green vomit, and the copious amounts of swearing are all unintentionally funny.
It has nothing to do with becoming desensitized to violence in gore in 2018, but I can’t, for the life of me, comprehend the stories of theatergoers vomiting and running from their seats during screenings of the film when it was released. And to top it all off, the movie spawned two sequels, two prequels, and a television show—all of which are bad.
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